Last updated: January 04. 2014 12:01PM - 743 Views
By - mstrother@civitasmedia.com

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County Commissioners on Friday made an objection to the zoning of a proposed city of LaGrange annexation that would make LaGrange and West Point city limits contiguous.

The proposed annexation was requested by Land Partners LLC for 312 acres north of Sandtown Road and west of Interstate 85, just north of the Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia plant. The annexation would abut West Point city limits, which currently run to the south side of Sandtown Road in the area.

The abutting West Point land currently is zoned commercial and unincorporated land is zoned residential, while the proposed zoning for the annexed land would be general industrial for about 99 acres on the south side of the land. County Manager Tod Tentler said the county’s main objection is to the proposed zoning of general industrial for the southern portion of the property.

The city has less of a buffer – 50 feet opposed to 200 feet– for industrial property next to residential property, Tentler said. The county originally was given 30 days from the time it received the notice, Dec. 13, to inform the city of its intent to object. Commissioners voted sent a letter of intent on Dec. 17.

Tentler said due to the holidays and LaGrange City Manager Tom Hall out sick, the county has been unable to set a meeting with city officials. He recommended that the Commission vote to object to the zoning, giving it 21 days to work out the issue.

“We think that’s the safest thing for Troup County to do,” Tentler said. “Because if we wait – even though the city said they may extend the deadline, the law may not allow us to do that.”

Commission Chairman Ricky Wolfe said that he also wasn’t clear on the intent of the annexation. Tentler said he believed a recycling center for goods from Kia and the suppliers is planned for the part of the property, and a mixed-use development planned on the northern portion, with Kia Parkway being extended north into the development.

Aside from the zoning, county officials previously pointed out that the proposed annexation also would leave two spots of unincorporated county, including one “island,” sandwiched between the two cities. Seven unincorporated residential properties on the north side of Sandtown Road are bordered by the property proposed for annexation on the north and east sides, and West Point to the south.

Another unincorporated tract of land at the end of the road is bordered by Sandtown Road on the north, West Point city limits on the west and I-85 at its south and east sides. County Planner Nancy Seegar said Friday that the resident at that end of the road emailed her “very highly upset” about the plans.

Tentler said one of the county’s requests will be for all surrounding property owners to be notified of the proposal.

County Engineer James Emery pointed out that the objection to the zoning is a separate step from objection to the annexation. He said the county’s deadline to formally object to the annexation is Jan. 16. A formal objection to the annexation, under state law, would require arbitration.

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